tv Conversation with Former CIA Director Michael Hayden CSPAN March 28, 2016 8:28am-10:04am EDT
do right now through the appropriations process, and we work closely with the appropriators on this, but also give her the independence to headache some of the decisions and not have to be -- make some of the decisionses and not have to be held up or operating in conjunction with other aspects of the congress that have little or nothing to do with the copyright laws. >>st we are out of time. bob goodlatte is cochair of the congressal internet caucus -- congressional internet caucus, kate tummarello covers technology for politico. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> former contribution a and nsa director, general michael hayden, discussed his book, "playing to the edge," and offered his views on intelligence and national
security. he talks about waterboarding, the apple iphone encryption debate and the brussels terror attacks. the american enterprise institute hosted this event. it's about an hour and a half. >> thank you. whoa, we're life. we're live. >> good afternoon, everybody. welcome to the american enterprise institute. i'm marc thiessen, a fellow here, and we're pleased to be joined today by former cia and nsa director michael hayden. with the events in europe this week, i can't think of anyone better than mike to enlighten us and put these, put everything that we're seeing on our television screens into perspective. mike, thank you for joining us. >> thanks, marc. thank you.
>> so you have a new book out called "playing to the edge." what motivated you to write that book, and what does it mean. >> sure. in the forward which i actually wrote at the end, the manuscript was already done, and penguin said, so why'd you write this book, i talk about being in australia in the outback at a joint facility, the australian call pine gap, we call it alice. it's really in the outback. you land on the the outback, you get on -- let me choose my words carefully -- the road. and we were having a schmooze, and we were walking off the ops floor into brilliant outback sun, and i turned to my trail january counterpart -- australian counterpart and said wouldn't you like to take your
citizens in there and hoe them what -- show them what those kids are doing? and, of course, the answer was, yeah. that's kind of the book. in the longer form of this, and i'll spare you this because this is a very knowledgeable audience, i don't know of something so essential to american democracy that is less well known by the american population than american espionage. and so the purpose of the book is to walk up to the cipher log, punch in numbers, bring my countrymen to the degree allowed by law and policy inside that zone, introduce them to the people and to many of of the things that they do on their behalf. that's really the objective, marc. and it comes back to rarely has something so essential been so consistently misunderstood. >> and so you could it "playing to the edge." >> what does that mean? yeah, that's my wife's title. [laughter]
she had read the manuscript, and they're asking for a title now too. that's what she put. it's a reflection of her reading of the manuscript and, frankly, the conversations we had had over the last ten years. in essence, the summary is the intel guys don't get to create any edges. edges are created by the more than democratic -- the american democratic process. once you've gotten those lines, here are your limits. when circumstances dictate, you have a moral responsibility to play all the way to the lines. even though you know when you do that it is inevitable that you're going to have an ugly hearing, an ugly op-ed, probably a one or the other coast. it hardly ever shows up in the omaha world herald. [laughter] and, frankly, your life is going to be less pleasant than it would otherwise be. but if you play back from the edge.
you may be defending yourself or maybe even protecting your agency, but you're not protecting america. and is so there is this moral dilemma -- sorry, moral compulsion that if the government authorizes it and the situation demands it, you've got to go all the way to the edge, otherwise you're not doing your duty. >> you've used the phrase getting chalk on your -- >> yeah. actually, when cbs very kindly -- penguin arranged a session with cbs sunday morning, and it was a very generous piece. david martin, the pentagon correspondent, did it. david and i flew up to pittsburgh, my hometown, and we filmed a big chunk of it at the steeler practice facility. okay? and one of the b-roll elements of the morning show was my walking along the sideline with david at the practice facility. and one of the conversations we had that did not make it into the final product as we were walking along i said, now,
david, those are the hash marks. if you're really, really conservative and you're really, really concerned, you could tell your team i want to avoid any potential mistakes, is so i do not want to see that ball moved outside of hash marks. you can run all the plays you want, but the ball is not going out beyond the hash. i said, david, i know how that game's going to end, right? that team's going to lose badly. you've got to use the whole field. so anyway, that's why the language, marc. >> so one place where they don't seem of to have a lot of chalk on their cleats these days is europe. [laughter] >> sorry. >> didn't mean to make you choke up your water. so, you know with, four days before this week's attack in brussels, they captured the logistics chief of the cell that had carried out the paris attacks and was behind the brussels attack. he was immediately given a lawyer, told he had the right to remain silent, spent the first night in a hospital, second day
in a judicial hearing and then was put in the criminal justice system, and during those four days he successfully protected the information that he clearly had about the cell, how it operates, how it moves, and the attack happened. isn't this an indictment of the law enforcement approach to interrogation? >> the answer is yes comma. let me develop the thought. i think your premise is probably true. i don't know the fine print, but i think this attack -- which was very san francisco candidated -- sophisticated, clearly had already ma chiewferred to a earn point, i think it was put in motion because they feared he was going to say something that would then interfere with it. but this was a fully grown plot, and this did not get cooked up sunday night in somebody's basement. this had a lot of work done. so i think you're right. he knew -- they knew he knew, they feared and, therefore, they acted. god, there's so many ways of coming at the question you just asked me, so i'm going to go
stream of consciousness on you. >> yep. >> >> there's an extended passage in the book when i'm director of cia, and i get to go to the german embassy here. their in the chair of the e.u., so the german ambassador is, frankly, bringing the euro concern. [inaudible] in every two weeks for lunch. so it's the ambassadors from the european union to the u.s. every two weeks, lunch on the germans x. i'm sure they had euro conversations, but from time to time, he would bring in an american, all right? i suspect bonn -- bob gates may shown up, condi. now they bring in me, the cia guy. and we really took this seriously. we could have been entertaining and talking about soft topics, belling cooperation -- building cooperation. i went with renditions, interrogations and detentions. [laughter] feeling i'm never going to have this chance again. and it was a very candid, very polite, very respectful, very valuable conversation.
but about page 2 or 3 of my notes, i still have the speech. a as you know, we had good speech writers, right? but this is one i kind of did some personal work on. page 2 or 3 i just say to the collected europeans, look, let me tell you what i believe, my agency believes, my government believes and, frankly, what i believe my country believes. we are a nation at war. we are at war with al-qaeda and it affiliate withs. this war is global in scope, and i can only fulfill the responsibilities i have to my citizens to take this fight to that enemy wherever they may be. war, al-qaeda, global, take the fight. there was not another country in the room that agreed with any of those four sentences. okay? they not only rejected them for themselves, but clearly felt that we were not on solid legal ground in terms of applying them to us. and so you do have this
dichotomy between ourselves and the europeans. there's another part in the book where i talk about targeted killings. an example i have to use is one that's made public was the killing of an al-shabaab leader in september of 2009 by navy seals, all right? there really was no attempt to capture. this was a kill operation. and i make the point that there is not an intelligence service in europe that would have given us information to enable that raid. it would have been unlawful under their law. to enable the americans to do something they viewed to be an illegitimate use of force. so you do have this sharp dichotomy between the north american view and the european view of what this really is. now, we get our us in from here because we've got a lot of americans who claim if we don't do this in a law enforcement model we are, therefore,ing beig lawless.
which i take on in the book, that's not true at all. there's a whole other body of law, law of armed conflict. i'm sorry, long answer. >> no, go ahead. >> the second point is this, i think the europeans have an incredibly pathological structural problem. and by pathological i'm using the literal meaning. it will lead to the death of the organism unless you fix it, right? and the pathological problem is this, it is the division of labor between bruth else as a european -- brussels as a european capital, not the victim. between brussels and the sovereign states. the sovereign statements have exported to brussels some big chunks of their sovereignty. they've exported to brussels all questions of commerce, a lot of questions about finance and money and, frankly, all questions with regard to privacy. when we have a dialogue with the europeans, we're talking to
brussels, the european commission of this can or that or the other thing. national security remains in the capitals. it remains a. [inaudible] responsibility. and the pathology i see, and i've actually said to european friends over the last couple of years is that you've got a bunch of friends up here in the euro institutions making declarations about essential privacy and what constitutes essential privacy field from the burdens of guaranteeing the safety of their citizens. now, we've got issues here, okay? [laughter] but we get the privacy mavens and the security mavens in the same room and really have ugly fights. the europeans don't. you have this body up here creating rules, all right? in which the only imperative is how much privacy can we guarantee. and then you've got these folks down here who then have to live with those rules, and they've got -- rules that have been
developed, i think, i'm overstating this probably a bit, but rules that have been developed largely absent security considerations. that's, that is another condition to -- we think it's a war they don't, right? even within the law enforcement model you've got, you've got limits on what the nations can do to protect themselves. and so i'm funneling down. now i am in brussels to victim. and that, frankly, is a small, underresourced, from time to time dysfunctional security service working for what is almost all the time a dysfunctional government. >> so you have -- >> now you've got real issues here. >> so you have people who have no responsibility for the actual preventing of attacks -- >> right. >> who are tying the hands of the people who do. so when they can't prevent the attack, they're really responsible, or but they're not -- >> so what i think is going to happen, marc, you know, you've got the fill in the blank exit on the monetary union, and we may or may not have patched that
over, okay? the schoen again thing now is creating torque because they've exported border security to the euro institutions, and now they're feeling very uncomfortable about it, and so that's going to create torque on the union as it's currently constructed. and i think, marc, as they think through what i just said, this privacy/security torque is also now going to create great tension within the union. put another way, unless the union adapts to what it is i think i just fairly pointed out, this is going to get worse and lead, frankly, to the crippling of union. besides whatever it might do with police powers and so on. >> so this, the logistics chief that was captured, he is what we would have called in the cia contact a high value detainee, somebody who had information about the whereabouts, locations, identities and so on and so forth.
when we captured a high value detainee, not only did we not read them their rights, we didn't announce their capture necessarily because we knew that if you did, then if people knew that one of their come pate rates was captured, they would begin closing down intelligence trails, shutting down e-mail accounts, they might even accelerate plans for an attack. you had ever year pure in the -- european in the world holding press conferences saying he's telling us all these things which likely accelerated the attacks. one, is that a mistake and, two, doesn't show the need -- this show the need for secret detention? >> so there are lots of things you can go back and rerun the video and say not so much, not so much. >> yeah. >> you can imagine the political pressure on local leaders to show progress, to show competency or at least claim competency in terms of we're doing this and we're doing that. but i agree with you. in a world in which you are
still focused on security and in which you don't know where the next shoe is going to fall, these tend to be self-defeating things. i have to freely admit, mc, if we'd have picked him up in waziristan or somalia and so on, i would buy totally into what marc said. now, that is not current american policy, all right? that's not how we do it, but i would buy in. there's a fair argument that if he had been picked up because of the energies of american law enforcement and he had been picked up in the homeland, i'm running up a much steeper hill to claim we should begin a detention inside the american intelligence services. and that's, that's just a practical party inside how we -- matter inside how we americans view ourselves and how we pick between using the law enforcement model and the law of armed conflict model. even here, marc, even at cia it
would have been a tougher case to make the law of armed conflict model for someone who was arrested by american law enforcement inside the united states. >> but we have -- >> no, no. but all that said, you know, one needs to make a judgment based upon the totality of circumstances that you find yourself in at the time. the complaint people like me have is not that we did or didn't do that in this particular case, it's that we don't do it in any case. and then we've taken that tool off the table. people talk to me about would you like to get the techniques back? and i just stop the conversation and say, well, first of all, i'd like to capture somebody, okay? [laughter] that we are not already committed to putting through an article iii court process. >> that seem to be missing today -- seems to be missing today. there is, of course, the obama administration, quite frankly, got caught in this same criticism in 2009 with the underwear bomber where they
immediately read him his rights -- >> yeah. clearly a mistake. >> even the obama administration today if they capture somebody doesn't necessarily read them their rights on the first day. >> so that's right, and that's kind of a palliative to the stress point marc just tribed to you. -- described to you. but i'm a little worried. i like miranda, okay? i don't want miranda adjusted casually. miranda protects me and you. all right? and so rather than turning the dial back on miranda because you've chosen to do this through a law enforcement model but we're going to go light on miranda, i don't want the feds getting in the habit of going light on miranda, okay? i think the solution is rather than fooling with something on which we all rely, why don't you begin the process over here in the law of armed conflict model where miranda doesn't apply. and, of course, anything you develop will never be used in a court of law. >> exactly. >> and at some point later you
want to put him in the law enforcement process, frankly from my point of view i truly don't care. >> yeah. exactly. that's the difference between the law enforcement approach and the intelligence approach. in the law enforcement approach you're trying to get them to cooperate and provide evidence for a criminal conviction. time is a friend because you can build rapport and all these things -- >> you can coerce. do not believe that the law enforcement model is free of coercion. i'm going to arrest your mother, i'm going to arrest your father, your kids are going to jail. >> well, you can even do more in the law enforcement model than the intelligence model was under the army field manual, for example, district attorneys every day say to somebody would you rather be in a federal prison or in the general population, you know, in liker's island? -- rikers island? if you cooperate, we'll take the death penalty off the table. that would be threatening a
detainee. >> marc's right. that would be forbidden. >> yeah. so with the benefit of hindsight, you can see 9/11 coming. you know, you have the first world trade center attacks, the uss cole, the embassy bombings and other signs this was coming. so now here we are and we've had the paris and the brussels bombings. and it seems like this story is repeating itself. the director of national intelligence testified a few months ago that it is likely that isis will try a directed attack against the united states in 2016. dni clapper has said they're not going to be satisfied with lone wolves. are we sort of reliving this movie? >> yeah. no, we are. a couple of thoughts. reflected in the book but not specifically, it's consistent with the thinking but, you know, this is post-manuscript. a couple of things, and i'll try to be very efficient, marc, i know you've i got a lot of questions.
this is the degree of threat under which we exist. i'm pretending this is where we are on september 10, 2001. and then through the efforts of two somewhat different administrations -- [laugher] we got better. we really did. all right? in about 2011 we got about here. since about 2011 it's going back up, right? now, here is not here. we are not yet to that point, marc. we are safer than we were on september 10th. we, however, are less safe than we were in 2011, 2012, 2013. so if that's what you meant by your question, the answer is, yes, we are kind of going through the same cycle. now, in terms of what it is we do about it, i try to do this extended metaphor on morning joe two days ago, and i only had three minutes. [laughter] so here's the metaphor. if you take everything marc just
talked about, why didn't you do this to the guy, why didn't you told it, how come the belgians can't do wiretaps, how far do you want to put out the metal detectors from the airport now, right? let's think of soccer. we just had ab argument about -- an argument about stopping penalty kicks. or at a minimum, we need a bigger, stronger, faster goalie because somebody just put the thing in the back of the net. and here's the point i would go to the europeans with. the trend line is when something like this happens, you start talking about goalies, all right? how come you didn't know it was this guy? how come you didn't have better security at the airport? why did the politicians make statements and so on? that is all, you know, if it's not p.k., it's still within the 8 and somebody's got a high opportunity to score. i get it. practice defense, get some better fullbacks, train your goalie. but that's not a winning hand, all right?
if you're playing inside the 18 or you're playing to stop penalty kicks, you all know what's going to happen, it's going to go back into the back of the net again. so the extended metaphor is control the midfield, okay? move the game up. and the metaphor for controlling the midfield is to do all those things you ought to be doing before the attacks. things like what? espionage, collecting metadata, comparing the metadata with known -- you guys know this stuff, okay? you do all those things that a lot of our european friends are wringing their hands about. so i'm less inclined -- i might criticize the belgians for a what they did immediately. i'm less inclined to create them for what their police did in that 96-hour period. i am more inclined to say, now, do you want to have that conversation you thought you had two years ago about electronic surveillance?
you want to do it now with maybe a better handle on what the real facts are and why this is being done? okay? and i just thought the soccer metaphor would work were the in europe -- better in europe than baseball, okay in. [laughter] and i mean it. that stuff that became so controversial is about controlling the midfield. david ignatius had a wonderful piece in the post two days ago in which he said after this all the europeans are now lining up in front of the american intelligence leviathan. [laughter] and demanding more product. while till wringing their hands -- still wringing their hands about american collection, okay? so control the midfield. let me extend the metaphor. >> yeah. >> i've got one more. and after you've established control of the midfield and you can blunt attacks well before they get boo your airports or even into your sovereign space, once you think about scoring goals, why don't you get into the attacking zone?
why don't you begin to threaten their goal mouth rather than worrying about yours? in other words, aggressively take this fight to this, back to my speech in the german embassy, take in this fight to this enemy where they reside which means get real tough in raqqa, get real tough in mosul, get real tough with the islamic state. i'm going to be overly dramatic, and maybe this isn't a good idea, but here it comes. i would not be opposed if we used social media, if we used traditional leaflets and we blanket that part of the earth called the islamic state with the notification if you move oil, you're going to die. period. i think that's a legitimate act in the armed conflict in which we are engaged, and you make it very clear we're actually really serious about this now. so any event, the point i was trying to make is a lot of the
conversation here gets dragged down to the last 18 yards. actually, the real answers are deeper, and they hearken back to those faux discussions and faux debates we had over somebody's cell phone or some country's metadata or who was vacuuming up, whatever. >> so the administration would argue to you that they are getting tough in those places. they just killed the number two leader of isis. >> yeah. >> they claim that they have taken back 40% of isis' territory and all to the good. it's a little bit after you let a cancer go untreated for many months that you've reduced the tumor by 40% but, oh, by the way, it was in your lungs, you reduced it, but it's spread to your liver, your stomach and your brain. is that really something to be celebrating or, you know, to we need to hit these things before they metastasize? >> so, yeah, you're asking me a
political question as opposed to an intelligence question, and i'll give you a political answer. professionally, i think you could fairly characterize our effort against isis as what we call a level of effort campaign. okay? we have been told we're going to do that much, okay, big guy, go do everything you can with that much and under these rules. i would say and there's probably some good friends of mine in uniform who would disagree with me who are on the inside now. i would say we are not working backward from the desired effects we wish to create and, therefore, resourcing and governing our effort based upon the desired outcomes, it is here's what we can offer, here are the rules, go do the best you can. and we're actually good. i said in another venue recently i got to be part of the most magnificent killing machine in the history of armed conflict. and even restricted and underresourced, we're a hell of
a killing machine. and so we are, we are going to inflict losses on this enemy. but i think i'm disappointed with the pace and the level of effort. a good friend of mine, dave did the planning for gulf war -- i'm seeing folks nod here, they recognize dave. if dave were here, he would say the current air campaign is like a fine irish mist when air power was invented by god to be a thunderstorm. [laughter] and when you think of it, all right, we are hitting at the rate of about 20 strikes per day. all right? that's, that's modest. >> uh-huh. >> at best. and so i would have amped it up. it's something else i would do, too, i would move the threshold with regard to our tolerance for collateral damage. from the outside looking in, i think the right number for collateral damage right now for
the r work e zero. -- roes is zero, and i would make the argument that may not be a moral position because if you pass up multiple opportunities because of fear of collateral damage, you may actually end up with more dead innocent people because you have not suppressed the enemy's capacity to do harm. because of your almost total allergy to collateral damage. now, marc, you and i have talked about in other fore rah. these are always hard choices, all right? and it's really unfair to second guess. but you asked, all right? and so that's kind of my -- by the way, this is one war where the kinetic fight is ideological, okay? this is one war where the battlefield defeat of the enemy actually undercuts the us logical jihadist -- ideological jihadist narrative. these guys are somebody pause they're successful, and they can advertise themselves as representing both the and the
hand of god. nothing upside cuts that like battle -- undercuts that like battlefield defeat. >> exactly. the other thing is that they can, you know, if they know the rules of engagement or no civilian casualtieses or they think there's a drone flying overhead they go boo a school or a hospital or something like that. >> and we know they have well practiced intermingling in raqqa, for example, with civilian targets. >> that's exactly right. so you say we're better in protecting the homeland now than we were before 9/11, and that's why we're safer, though the threat is rising. but isn't the threat becoming much more complex than it was then? so, like, before 9/11 we faced a danger from one por terrorist network principally, operating in afghanistan. today the threat has me tsa tsatized, but you also have all the al-qaeda affiliates, boko haram, al-shabaab, so we now face a danger from multiple terrorist networks operating in
multiple countries and also the new dynamic of free market competition in the jihadi world which is you have two major terrorist networks, isis and al-qaeda, which are competing for the hearts and minds of the faithful, and how do you win that fight? by hitting us, right? >> all true. i read the cia press kits every day. very frequently, very recently my response is, oh, yes. yet another great day to be a former senior intelligence official. [laughter] because of what you have just described there. okay, let me riff on that a little bit, all right? as much as i've said what i've just said here, i and people like me understand you cannot kill your way out of this problem. if we could kill our way out of this problem, this thing would have been over 14 year ago. there are other broad issues, marc, that we have to the take
on, and i think everyone in room would agree we are less good at that than we are about the killing people thing. and so that's the part of our game that we really need to recharge. it's the part of our game over which we don't have direct control. it's the part of our game in which we are far more dependent on our allies in the islamic world to achieve success than any success we can personally achieve. so to begin that conversation, one of the things i think we have to do is to get other the fantasy that this has nothing to do with islam, okay in. .. i think what we need is kind of an adult acceptance of, this is something to do with islam. it's not about the all islam and
for god's sake is not about all muslims but it does have something do with islam and we need to talk to our muslim allies. the king of jordan said it's something to do with islam. the president of egypt is wagging his fingers at the theological faculty sang it is about islam and you guys fix it. because these crazies are denigrating -- i'm careful about i say this, that i understand this is one of the world great monotheism that there's a struggle within that asked about the wants to do with certain issues. we cannot resolve it but i don't think we serve anybody by pretending that's not what's happening. and, therefore, perhaps we can help empower those voices within islam that we think actually had the best answer not just for ourselves but for islam. people like the kin king of jorn into one. so there's a lot to be done come
at a guess what i'm saying is the complexity is beyond the battlefield threat complexity. is a deeper complexity, and our tools to influence that are indirect and distant. >> also empowering people at the local level. another one of victims of islamic radicalism are muslims. they are killing more muslims than they are people in the west, at least for now. >> i will offer you a few, perhaps that much hyperbolic but without truth -- not without truth, that we are merely collateral damage. we are the collateral damage in what is fundamentally a war within one of the world's monot. >> one reason why the surge was so successful in iraq was because it was both a military and ideological feet for isa. al-qaeda which became isis. they were not only defeated militarily but rejected by the very people that they represent. >> who should be most attracted, the sunni tribes.
>> the sunni tribes. they came to call the sunni masses to drive the u.s. out and said they joined with america to drive al-qaeda out. that was a major ideological defeat. how can we empower people in the muslim world who hate isis company al-qaeda, who hate radicalism to join us in that fight? >> well, listen to woody allen, whose fundamental about life is the 5% is showing up. i do think and i was that's different from saying out of her way, erbe friends. we are going to fix this. that's even worse. but i do think given historical circumstances, given who we are in the world right now, which is not a permanent condition and doesn't indicate any special blessing from the crew that were more special than anyone else, that given the reality of the world in which we now live and the relative power we can exert,
our showing up creates opportunities for things to happen. our not showing up actually cuts in the other direction. and effect might even be a negative because the others began to go do things on their own and it turns out they are not all that good at it. i'm suggesting invading yemen, for example. it makes the situation worse than otherwise would be. i do think there is impossible for american leadership. i am not calling for the return of brigades to the western iraqi desert. i do think it's a powerful role to play. i do not understand, by the way this album the context of the book which closes out with the snowden, so that's in the. i did understand the lack of a no-fly zone. things that i think probably would be excepted by but i would call civilized world, christian,
jew islamic. >> so you have accomplished something that not a single gop presidential candidate has done, which is you can't donald trump to back down. so donald trump said he would employ waterboarding or worse. he openly used the word torture for what he would advocate as president. and you pointed out that u.s. military would not obey the command to break the law. he backed down off without the said no have to change the laws to allow torture. is that playing to the edge are going well beyond it? speak with you have a copy of my book there speak with we do somewhere. >> that's okay. i'll pretend. i'll do hand puppets. someone is on this book tour, and my wife finally says play to the edge, dummy. i actually thought i was going to spend the book tour explaining my, our collective
aggressiveness in going to the edge. didn't happen. because of the dynamics of a political campaign, the book tour was more are less consumed i might exploiting that there were edges. [laughter] that there were things no, we are not going to do that. so rather than explaining why we were here, i was explaining why we would never be here. incredibly remarkable thing. the easy one is, we are going to kill the founders, too. for god's sake. that's the one where they'll ask, and i said that's just what could happen. the american military which is not do that. that's different from ratcheting up your bar for collateral damage. i already told you my view on. i would be more willing to embrace a bit more risk for decide military effect. that's not what he was talking about. he is talking about killing the edison.
that's a bad. i mean, just morally. it's incredibly stupid operationally. you still are mad for 9/11. we are 15 years. why do we want to create a dynamic inside of our enemy? by our going to go kill, by killing their noncombatants. that tougher sell was his call for waterboarding, which i do talk about in the book in which my agency did com, which we dide off the table but which i am a justifies having been effective and to defend the people who did it. there is a little more nuance and haven't had as much chance to get it up so i'm going to do with you. he's doing it with enthusiasm. we did it with regret. he's doing it because they deserve it. we never did it because they deserve it. we did it because we thought
they knew something that we have a right to know in order to keep our citizens safe. he appears to want to do it frequently. we did it rarely to three folks. i mean, his language on waterboarding was so bad that it actually gave waterboarding a bad name. [laughter] okay? and i recognize it, but a lot of language in the book that -- i give that the greatest respect for all i argue, and you know this, all i argued is that we did based upon how out of duty, not enthusiasm. we did it is one legal judgment we had at the time. and it did, in fact, lead to information but i still get it. my really honorable opinion don't do it, ever. that's all. and by the way, right now, u.s. law says it's off. you can't do it. i also make the point, i made
the point of the book tour and actually make it in the book that is a future president decides that he was going to return to this end he someone creates the legal framework where it is no longer unlawful, i say quite specifically, he better bring his own pocket it has the cia is not going to do it again. because as i explained in about two or three chapters of the book, the people who did this in good faith the leaving they were covered by their government and by their governments legal opinion, failed an undying sense of betrayal about what happened to them after the change of administrations. so there was a show, showtime called spymasters around thanksgiving, talked to all 12 forming -- formerly the director to the individual separately. they interviewed us a long time,
five, six, seven hours. as it turns out it's a very good. we're very happy with it. they have several of us the same with the cia waterboarded in? no. that was not a rejection of the judgments made, the actions performed in the intelligence derived in the past. it was, we thought when we did this thing for you, the big u., 320 million of you, we have a social contract in perpetuity that the republic had our back it turns out in perpetuity is one off year election cycle. the agency has taken a no fooling lesson from it. it's a very complicated issue, marc, and the most offensive part of the current debate is how stupidly oversimplified the discussion has been made. >> but also for trump, for a waterboarding was the far end
point, to close to the edge. for trump is the starting point. >> i agree. i could add where, often, punishment, intelligence, reluctant enthusiast, in point, launchpad. >> but the reality is that we do need some sort of interrogation program for terrorists that doesn't include waterboarding to be. at the something more than army field manual if we're going to prevent another 9/11, we'll have to start capturing and interrogating them again. we can just read them the right. what trump is doing, people disagree with what was done by the agency, they would have to acknowledge there was a line in the government, whether you disagree with allied shipping, the government did acknowledge a line to stay within a line and try a line and tried to a line and try to do that. trump wants to erase the line. doesn't that undermine our ability to create something that we need that is much more limited? >> heads back to my statement i will probably regret about his getting waterboarding a bad thing. but that's my point.
he is poised in what has to be a carefully crafted, deeply conscientious conversation by a free people as to what it is you think is or is not legitimate based on the totality of circumstances in which you find yourself. so i agree. >> let's talk about something on a minor but here who has an iphone to which is the fight between fbi and apple. they are trying to get, unlock the phone of the san bernardino shooter and this has been painted as a dispute between the tech world and the national secure the world. but in the tech world view that people like bill gates evincing apple got to be doing more. international scheduled with it people like you who have backed apple. explain that to us spirit this sounds like where were you on the night of september -- i do
shade towards apple. i don't believe that the trees being inconsistent on my part. the army ways of looking unlikely when the question. this audience knows the question. the army ways that will get the question. there is a constitutional question. i'm not a constitutional lawyer. i'm not going there. if you asked wiping i think the government has it within its authority to come apple to do what you want apple to do. if it doesn't yet have a, congress can make it so. i don't think it's a constitutional question although apple is throwing out the first, fourth, 13th amendment including involuntary servitude. i don't think there's a privacy issue. he is dead. there are no privacy issues. by the way to was never his own. so i don't think the specific act begins to engage questions of security versus privacy. i'm over here looking at this
purely any security lends. i think it would be a good thing that the government could get there. i think the government has the authority to demand it. i just think it's a bad idea. it's a bad idea because jim clapper for the last two or three years has said the posters a threat to american safety and security is cyber. now got a private company who apparently has developed a pretty good cryptographic system, because government can't get into it. now the government is going to demand that his company create something that doesn't yet exist, which is a way to get through. i understand it's suppressing the ia's, opening up to brute force attacks. i'm not going to go the. with apple is done this will be less secure than was and will be less secure even if you keep it over here and a requires multiple keys and have to go to court and yada, yada, yada, all right? the fact that you've created is
by definition is less secure than it would be had you not created. as director of nsa we were going after about the algorithm and malcolm we were probably not be able to break this thing. and i have one of my people come in and say we just found out that someone else has been granted, the technical term, has been granted extraordinary access to the encryption, okay? my response was thank you lord. because, by the way, that may not be enough but the odds of my getting in have been increased because i've got, i've additional tools, different paths i can use to get beyond the encryption. when this began i wanted to side with the bureau, and the theory was, under which i was trying to side with the beer was, this is good, this is bad -- bureau. i'm not sure this leads to that.
but the longer this has gone on the more i'm convinced this is not a one and done. personal director comey is testified in open session that yes, indeed, although we're only asking for this phone, this will establish a precedent that we will use in other cases. there's a least a dozen around the country that anybody will be brought into a courtroom. mr. lance, the u.s. attorney in manhattan says he has a room with 175 just waiting to go. come. so i don't think it's a one and done. i was trying to say over here, but now i'm convinced it can't stay over here. this inevitably leads to a less secure operating system. i can do this two or three more and it will very briefly. let's just say that i am wrong. let's just say we as a nation decide don't open the damn phone. what it is which is done either through legislation or court order is that we are forbidden
technological progress. i'm just not feeling good about that being a winning hand. even if we are successful in doing it in north america, the sum total of all those will be pushing this offshore, which i think is the worst of all possible outcomes we could get. and wait, there's more. if the government does give you the authority to do this, what is apple supposed to do with other governments, for the own legitimate law enforcement reasons, what they perceived to be their own legitimate law enforcement reasons, now come to apple and say, i got to get in here, it's a fallen gun guy. you know how bad they are. let me get in the phone. or the egyptian government comes and says i got a getting year, he's a terrorist. i'm kind suggesting that countries have brought definitions of terrorist.
broad. how do you answer that? one more turn of the wheel. it doesn't matter. the march of technology is long and art in which it would become more and more difficult to retrieve content from intercepted communications. there is nothing we can do to stop that. my counsel, and to the folks i left behind is, get over it. understand that no matter what we do with apple, it's going to get harder and harder to get content. that doesn't mean it's harder, doesn't it will be impossible to get actionable intelligence out of intercepted communications. it's just not be able to get content. imagine apple has created this problem by creating this really powerful authoring system with very powerful encryption. apple has also given the instrument in your pocket incredibly volumes of digital exhaust better point out there
right up into the atmosphere. got a good intelligence service can collect, i'm not talking about collecting against you. you understand, a good intelligence service can collect and glean an incredible volume of information. one more point. did you ever think the last 15 years with the anomaly? gidget our think that what's abnormal is the last 15 years, not the 15 years going forward? did you ever think that what's happened recently issue and i used to keep things that were really well protected and decided to put them up in our phone where they were readily retrievable. now we are all regretting that. and the art we are on, the major muslim of we are on pace of returning to status quo anti. that we've lived there appeared of 10 to 15 years for electronic surveillance, either law
enforcement or foreign intelligence, has had a golden age. we all put it up there not knowing how vulnerable it was. knowing how vulnerable it is you are kind of returning to the state back it. you're putting it up there which are far more protecting it. sorry, for to long of answer. bottom line is, yeah, i'm shaving apple on this one. by the way, think of all the things that mike rogers and jim clapper has said about this dispute. okay, you're done. they have not. this is not fundamentally a foreign intelligence problem. it's a law enforcement problem. the fourth intelligence guys know they can cheat. >> one more question on that.
play devil's advocate for a second. hasn't this backfired on apple a big liquidity puts and the fbi put out there publicly, which is the one criticizing. it turns out a third party came to them and that put out the word come and see if we can come we can break and took it all the sudden, stop. >> we will see if it happens. if i'm still director of nsa and apple says were not going to do this, and i'm a green, the next -- i'm a green, the next angle is down to only be saying encryption is getting better. i'm going to need another $500 million because i'm going to kick my way and. that is him on. that's fair game. that's different from telling apple to build something that makes the system less secure. there are so many factors. they are suggested in the book.
there's so many factors bearing on this. we used to do this map, marc, against encryption that was not universally available. when you do the math against encryption that's not universally available, game on, kick the door in. but fundamentally what happened now is it's against encryption. we all depend on. that changes the math problem. >> but there's the challenge of this. fbi goes to apple and says help is getting. no, we will that help you get them. let's assume this hack works and we can break and that means apple has a security bulletin that the government knows about. either going to kill them? why would apple -- >> do not presume that answer to that question. that actually may be the government's preferred position for the moment we just had this grand debate about nsa and vulnerabilities come and what nsa should do or not do when it needed creates or discovers a
vulnerability in encryption. the outcome of the national debate has been that nsa has been shading too much in the direction of exploiting the vulnerability rather than fixing a. i am not -- >> they should help them but they're so incentive for them to help apple right now. if they figured out a way to get into iphones, then why would they tell apple if -- >> the incentive to help apple is the broad moral responsibility to make america a safer and more secure place. >> only. let's talk about the threat environment we face today. if you go back to the 1990s, actually 1980s when george h. w. bush was running for president. nobody asked him about saddam hussein and saddam hussein invades kuwait. the presidency is driven by the persian gulf war. in 2000 when george w. bush was
running for president nobody asked about al-qaeda, and 9/11 happened and the presidency was dominated by the war on terror look at the threat of our but today, middle of the presidential debate, what is it nobody is asking the candidates about that could end up dominating the next presidential term? >> i used to get this question a government. i would be with from the groups like the question what do you think will surprise you this year, general? [laughter] is why i answer the question. i have three tiers of threat and my matrix is how bad are the economics time do i have? vertical axis, horizontal axis. how bad, how much time. touched down in the left hand corner of things that are urgent but not existential. cyber, and it's current form terms of the it could go bump tonight because the tsa kid at dulles makes a bad decision.
that will not threaten the existence of the republic. i go out five years, i get another flavor of threat. is a group of nation-states that have taken to label ambitious, brutal and nuclear. north korea, iran, pakistan and i actually thought the russians and the. that's not going to go bump tonight but if and when it does go bump it's worse than what we are worried about because of brussels. i probably have four, five years to fret to try to get a handle on the. i ago out on the timeline to 10 and weigh up your, in the really dangerous axis is china. and again i do what you think i'm treating china like al-qaeda, or china like north korea. i'm just saying that the accommodation of the people's republic into a stable global system is the most serious security challenge we have. but we do have some time.
that's how i kind of naked. it's not quite the answer to the question that you asked. >> tell me what you don't know. >> okay. so he wants me to make it up. so i do think the brussels event is going to create incredible to work in the stability of a part of the world that is of incredible importance to the united states. that added to the toward greater by the immigrant crisis created by the instability within one data but not eu member, turkey, we're going to have to start paying attention to your which we thought we would have to we buy that anymore. that may be something that will be pushed. let me be kind coming up a pipe is government movement in several european countries right now that if they were to be successful would, what i think begin to challenge condi rice and george w. bush's vision of a europe whole and free and at
peace. >> let's talk about the tension between the intelligence committee and the press. in the book you write a great deal about the efforts you into to prevent the "new york times" are reporting certain things that were harmful to national security. but you als also say that and fr public is lifeblood of democracy. how do you strike a balance between an informed public and the need for secrecy? >> the most important part of the book going long-term is a conversation i had with carly fiorina who was the head of the cia advisory board before she became a presidential candidate. i give the advisory board tough questions, the question i gave carley, we talked about this, is beyond of the book, the question id card was this. this was '07 early away, way pre-snowden. i judge snowden as a fact, not cause. pre-snowden i look at carly and said that had a tough question for you. what will america be able to
conduct espionage in the future inside of a broader political culture that every digit is more transparency and more public accountability from every aspect of national life. went to the mountaintop or wherever she and her team win, came back three or four months later. carte, will be able at 10 america be able to conduct -- more transparency? she looked right in the eye and said too close to call. which is really important. in essence what's happening is our political culture in terms of what is demanded before a test government is moving out from under the social contract the american intelligence community thought we had with american society. this is covered pretty thoroughly in the book. nsa was horribly backloaded by the snowden stuff.
i'm very disappointed that the administration particularly didn't explain things more quickly, more completely. just a better. one of the reasons in sa was backloaded on the to 15 program, the metadata stuff, your phone bills, is that this thing up in a provide two presidents. and then legislate by congress. it was a military oversight committee frankly we will worth a strong supporter of the program and overseen by the fisa court. the wan one i used in the book s hell, that's the madisonian trifecta. check, check, check. whippet ago. that is the solution. you've got all those. what happened was when the program became public a is a lot of her countrymen and all of them on the wingnut population, a lot of solid citizens said i'm not so sure that constitutes consent of the government anymore. that maybe consent of the governor's. you told them but you didn't
tell me. so now we really do have a challenge, how does my old community tell you, the big u., enough about what it is we are doing that we at least have your implied sanction? without telling them so much that it's not worth doing. and that's the question you raised and by way of rephrasing you. that's the challenge we now have. my answer, kind of bumper sticker, if we need to be more transparent. we need to tell you more. then i will say very quickly don't pretend that's not going to make us, but that's not going to shave points off of our effectiveness that it will. but then again you will not let us do anyway unless we tell you more than we tell you already. i said that at aspen. michael leiter says i'm with you but not transparent or you need to be translucent your not bad.
translucent. i can see the broad shapes. i can see the broad movement. i can't see the fine print. so i think what we're trying to find out is what's that sweet translucent spot. we will never get to the extreme but where most americans say i have a pretty good to do what they're doing, i'm okay by it. that's about as good as it gets. we do have to find a spot. this is not going to pass. there's been a cultural shift and omega point in the book in earnest and we have to accommodate to get. that's how this works spill last question from me and they will take some from the audience. playing off of your last point, doesn't seem like intelligence to nearly is in this vicious cycle? 9/11 happened and they say why didn't you do more? you go out and use of the nsa surveillance program and metadata program and the cia interrogation program and they work.
the attacks don't happen in a follow-up on disrupted. overtime people become complacent and they say why are you doing all that? my privacy is being and friends and all these terrible things are happening. why you're doing this? then was repeating the back and then another attack happens and we're back to the beginning of the cycle. is that what we're doin we are t now? >> yes. it's a continuous cycle. i, myself one existential wine in the book. in which i i say american political elites are hard advocate this, but american political elite feel free to criticize our intelligence services are not doing enough when they feel in danger. then turn on a dime and begin to criticize them for doing too much as soon as we've made them feel safe again. that's kind of harsh but it's also kind of true. that's kind of where we are. >> let's take some questions from the audience.
>> thank you very much. my question is that this war has been going on for the last 20 plus years. i think cia knows everything was going on around the globe. my question is it started with al-qaeda, then taliban and al isil, then isis and all those things continuing. do you think physically maybe osama bin laden has been dead but his ideology is still just among these people? and finally to the secretary carter and chairman also speaking at the pentagon press briefing about all these things going on. finally, who is helping them? who do think today you to control two or three nations that you can control all these
terrorist? >> on the question, kill bin laden and then what happened, this is covered a bit in the book. on the night bin laden was killed, i was quite surprised all those kids going to lafayette. really? and i guess what he betrayed was an attitude of people with our background knowing that there was no finality in this at all, that everyone will go back to work the next morning at langley and continue to hud for whole bunch of other things. were as the general population felt some sense of closure. guessing one level there is a legitimate sense of closure after he was the guy who is most responsible for the attack but we never had any sense of closure. we knew this was good but it was going to be long-standing. i go back to what i said in the
book in antigen trend once questioned the entity change conditions on the ground you just get to kill people forever. that's not a happy outcome. we really do need to begin serious dialogue about changing conditions on the ground. it's not in the book because it postdates the book. we are seeing the melting down of the world order as we know it. we are seeing the melting of the post-world war ii bretton woods u.n. world bank american liberal order. we are seeing the melting of other post-world war i versailles decision of european state system and european drawn boundaries. frankly, we made seeing although falling on the edges of westphalia in terms of separation of of course the power of the state from matters of theology and definitions of citizenship. and so this probably isn't about getting bashar al-assad government. i mean it is but it's about so
much more. i guess my answer is we've got to get on with his. we are not going back to where we were. iraq no longer exist. syria never no longer exist. probably but lebanon in there. put libya in there. this is not about getting back to the stable world order from which somebody has pushed us out. that's gone. in answer to your question, where's paul nixon? the next president will need politics in or the equivalent of the long telegram to kind of scope how fundamental the issues have now become. into we do that we are going to be doing this for a long time.
>> thank you. in your opinion, general, how important is it the peshmerga should be armed? and in your opinion how did isis -- [inaudible] thank you. >> i think that's called a leading question in the american press. so it actually ties very closely so to what i just said. this is me being critical of policy. if you believe what i just said about iraq not existing, why would you insist on approval from baghdad before you send arms to irbil? and so my instinct, i understand, if i'm still back in government is still in the room, when us be careful about one says and how one does things. but my instinct our if this is all about a new structure in the
middle east, i think a pretty useful building block would be the kurds complicate? i realize all of a sudden all my turkish friends are getting concerned, my iraqis friends, syrian friends and soldier if the old is gone and the new is yet to be created, i think a good conversation to his what is the future of the kurdish people and the kurdish autonomous region? and the other kurdish autonomous region. the one in syria now. i would not constrain myself to the old models. and then how did isis come about. long history. the most recent one i won't lie to the american departure in 2011, and as we left, this is not, we would've defeated isis can use our kids to kill them come no. it was simply that we were an
effective stopper in a bottle that was still unsettled. that while we were there, the three factions in iraq still destroyed in each of the great distrust of the other two but were convinced as long as the americans were there in some numbers the other two were not going to beat them. as soon as we left, they all suddenly feared that they were going to beat them. and begin to move to their respective corners and act in ways they thought they were defensive but were perceived by the other two factions as being horrifically offensive than that created the seed, the petri dish for isis to resurrect. >> let's take two more of the mike has agreed to sign some books outside. this gentleman. >> talking about rules of engagement earlier, back in the day -- back in the day, what were the rules of engagement or the rules for rendition to a
third country somewhere? >> we have enough assurances from the third country, and assurances we believed that the prisoner would indeed be treated humanely. and then we been embraced both a moral and legal obligation to ensure that that is indeed what happened. i do get the question from time to time, how could you be sure? the answer i would give you a beat after all, ci is an intelligence organization. so those were the ground rules. the current administration by the way, that rendition policy, saying today. okay? there's also more noise about and we insist on guarantees and so on, which i find a little offputting, like some of we were not answered as much about the law as of the current guys. there is powerful continuity. displayed what was teed up and i haven't answered, there is
powerful continuity between 43 and 44. there really is. one of the things the europeans remark on this not how much president obama is different from president bush at how much you so much like president bush when it comes to the war on terror. i would offer you the view that there's a big difference between 43, the first and second bush administration and is between 43 and 44. all that said i can fill the rest of the acting complaining about the things that were changed. but have to freely admit that powerful, the great light i quote in there after snowden but it applies to everything. it's a quote in spiegel in which european, a german is deeply lamented, we thought it was just george bush. [laughter] we thought there were two americas. now we know, there is just one
america. to which i responded, cool. all right? it was stress producing for a lot of people who are friends in europe. >> last question. >> lady way in the back. >> thank you, general. you mention some limitations -- >> who are you? >> christine with sinclair broadcast group. you mention that some limitations from some of european counterparts in terms of sort of a fight on terrorism a special as relates to intelligence. does this mean it's time for the u.s. to have a larger global role? would europe be okay without? >> i guess my argument is would have a large global role and we have stepped into that. what i would be inviting is that
we not be the lone striker dropping the ball into the attacks on. that we got someone on either wing the we could occasionally pass the ball to. in that we have, we have the sincere conversation with our putative teammates about the midfield, and that you realize how we can argue about specific. this is not the forces of darkness trying to suppress the european privacy. let's do that one again. with maybe a better understanding of what it was and then with regard to this definition, if you're going, if you think you can handle this problem at the greek border and make it go away, you are wrong. and, therefore, why don't you come up here and start playing a little ball in the offense its own? we don't have much time at his
coming out harsh, all right? this is a conversation among people of fundamentally share our values and to share our interests. and with whom we should be able to have these conversations. and so it is time for us to do this, okay? that the german embassy thing i was talking about, i'm getting is pretty hard about we feel comfortable doing this and i'm getting pushback and finally, this is related in the book, the ambassador wants to kind of find some common cause. so i'm standing next to him talking to the ambassador and it looks up at me and says, general, i mean, surely you must admit that we are all children of the enlightenment. [laughter] yes, sir, mr. ambassador, but europeans seem to be hugging a lot and we are over here with hobbes. [laughter]
which are two great enlightenment philosophers that our common culture and civilization embrace. so why can't we begin to share our somewhat more hobbesian view of this problem with their somewhat more lucky and if you. it is after all part of our mainstream. sorry, i sound like a philosophy professor never i apologize. >> thank you so much for taking questions. [applause] mike has agreed to sign books outside. remained seated while the getting out of the table and then you can ask in your questions as he signs your book. thank you very much. [inaudible conversations]
yeah. i'm very fond of -- [inaudible conversations] this part of the world are the kurds. they welcome americans. they've begun a very project of development in the kurdish autonomous region, and so i think it's a wise step in american foreign policy to deepen our relationships with the people who seem to share our values, who seem to want to be friends with the united states and, frankly, have a military that when the fight begins, shows up for the fight. >> thank you very much. >> okay. >> all right. [inaudible conversations] >> all right. you had a question about hong kong. here we go. >> [inaudible] a little bit more -- [inaudible] >> sure. what i said about the relationships between china and the united states is by far the
most important geo-strategic question we have to face, and this is not me calling the chinese an enemy. i don't mean that at a all. i mean a country so large emerging onto the world stage as china is, is a relationship that we have to get right for the stability of the entire planet. it would be catastrophic if the relationship between beijing and washington ended up as continuous confrontation, always bordering on conflict like the relationship we used to have with the soviet union. >> thank you so much. >> okay. thank you very much. okay? take it. [inaudible conversations] >> okay. what are we doing?